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Was there a political motive behind the April 1 “riot” that led to the arrest of at least 20 residents in Quezon City?

Sen. Panfilo Lacson urged authorities to take a closer look into this, as he noted there are groups who have the motive to exploit the volatile situation due to the COVID19 threat.

“Having been immersed in intelligence and law-enforcement work for more than two decades in my previous life, I couldn’t help but suggest to authorities to thoroughly investigate if the ‘riot’ in Quezon City involving protesters demanding aid – but in violation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine – was indeed a valid ‘hunger-driven’ spontaneous act of people who simply lost their patience out of exasperation, or a politically instigated act of violence by sinister groups out to take advantage and destabilize the administration and duly constituted authority,” Lacson said in a statement on Thursday.

“There is no saying however, that all protests during the ECQ should be presumed as politically instigated. Yet, it cannot be denied that there may be groups with motive to exploit the volatility of the situation to advance their own political agenda,” he added.

Following his graduation from the Philippine Military Academy in 1971, Lacson served in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. He served as PNP chief from 1999 to 2001.

On Wednesday, at least 20 people were arrested in Quezon City after holding a rally to demand aid from government. Police dispersed the rally after they refused to end their gathering peacefully.

“As such, concerned authorities may opt to look into the possibility that Wednesday’s incident could be a “dry run” to test public sentiment as well as the ability of law enforcers to respond,” Lacson said.

He noted at least one group, Kadamay, has posted on its Facebook page an “invitation” to an event scheduled for April 1 .

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